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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NETWORK TIPS OFF THE PLAYOFFS 4-1!!

Nets (+5.5) upset 76ers 111-102 W
Warriors (-13.5) beat Clippers 121-104 W
Spurs / Nuggets (UNDER 211) W
Pistons (+13) Bucks 86-121 L
Pacers / Celtics (UNDER 209) W

PLAYOFFS UPDATE - BETTING FAVORITES CRANK OUT 4-AND-0 SPREAD SUNDAY
OUR 2019 NFL DRAFT REPORT STARTS OFF WITH A LOOK AT THE TOP WR/RB/TE

It sure seemed as if this year's NBA Playoffs were gonna be a point-grabbing party the way things started out this past Saturday:

Brooklyn (+8), Orlando (+9.5) and San Antonio (+6) all won outright in their respective Game #1's versus Philadelphia, Toronto and Denver as only two-time defending champ Golden State (-13.5) cashed as a favorite in its 121-104 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers ... yes, indeed, a Jim Hurley winner!

Then came Sunday ... The other four first-round playoff series opened and the chalk sides summarily swept the big board: Boston (-8) downed Indiana 84-74 -- Portland (-3) defeated Oklahoma City 104-99...
Milwaukee (-15) hammered Detroit 121-86 and Houston (-6.5) whacked Utah 122-90

The NBA Playoffs Betting Favorites had "restored order" for this day/night but there were some unusual circumstances along the way on this first Sunday of the post-season:

  • The Celtics held the Pacers to 2-of-19 shooting from the field in a third quarter in which Indiana scored - get this - 8 points and suddenly C's boss-man Brad Stevens wasn't so stupid after all;
  • The triumvirate of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Enes Kantner - remember him, New York Knicks' fans? -- combined for 74 of Portland's 104 points in a 5-point win against series betting fav OKC
  • Milwaukee savaged a Blake Griffin-less Detroit team that cried uncle right after the player introductions and remember Bucks' megastar Giannis Antetokounmpo played less than half the game while piling up 24 points and 16 rebounds;
  • And the usual defensively-sound Utah Jazz waved the white flag early in that 32-point loss in Houston and note Utah shot 7-of-27 from "3" while Rockets' star James Harden scored 29 points and was a + 18 in that runaway win.

Okay, so while Sunday's favs cashed in, it's gonna be really interesting to see how the Game 1 home favorites that lost this past weekend respond - can you say the Nets, Magic and Spurs are all playing with "house money" in their Game 2 road tilts? We'll let you know whether these Game 1 winners / Game 2 underdogs are a "bargain" or not in their Monday / Tuesday games. Call us at 1-800-323-4453 and we'll have your answers.

 

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NFL DRAFT REPORT

The 2019 NFL Draft is set for April 25-thru-27 and we'll be bringing you position-by-position looks for the next several days and next Thursday it's our annual NFL Mock Draft. Today we highlight the top WR, RB and TE:

T.J. HOCKENSON, TE, Iowa - This 6-foot-5, 250-pound stud is projected to have top 10 talent in this year's draft but whether or not he gets gobbled up that high is another question. Last year this Big 10 star caught 49 passes for 760 yards (15.5 yards per grab) and he's a handful to take down. Hockenson could be a nice fit at #9 overall to Buffalo where a long-term "marriage" with QB Josh Allen sounds exciting.

D.K. METCALF, WR, Ole Miss - There's an ongoing debate about who's the better pass-catching threat to come out of Oxford this year as teammate A.J. Brown is getting a whole lotta love but Metcalf - who played just seven games and nabbed 26 passes in 2018 - has the softer hands and has blazing speed (a 4.33 time in the 40). Let's look for Metcalf to go in the top dozen picks with Green Bay at #12 a potential landing place.

NOAH FANT, TE, Iowa - Can you believe that a pair of Iowa tight ends could well get selected in the top 15-to-20 picks? The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Fant had 39 receptions for 519 yards with 7 TDs last year and is considered a bit more one-dimensional as a pass-catcher than the aforementioned Hockenson. Let's temporarily look for Fant to land at #16 overall with the Carolina Panthers.

JOSH JACOBS, RB, Alabama - Let's face it: 'Bama backs have not exactly lit up the NFL as Mark Ingram's been average at best and Trent Richardson was a major bust, so we would caution anyone that loves this 5-foot-10, 220-pounder who runs hard, is tough to tackle with initial contact and did register 11 TDs for last year's national championship runner-up Crimson Tide. Hmm, how does Jacobs-to-Pittsburgh at #20 sound?

A.J. BROWN, WR, Ole Miss - Gotta admit we rate the two Mississippi pass-catchers as dead-even but can't ignore the fact that last year Brown played 12 games and snagged 85 balls for 1,320 yards and 6 TDs ... way more productive than the oft-injured Metcalf. There's lots of mock drafts that have either Brown or Metcalf headed to Baltimore at pick #22. Let's get on board with that!

MARQUISE BROWN, WR, Oklahoma - Recent foot injury (Lisfranc) will cause his stock to drop in this draft but odds are this smallish 5-foot-9 receiver will be a mid-to-late first-rounder one year after hauling in 75 balls worth 1,318 yards and 10 TDs. Brown will be a major target on those bubble screens, you watch. Look for Brown to slide down to the mid-20s with Indianapolis at #26 a potential home to this Boomer Sooner.

DAVID MONTGOMERY, RB, Iowa State - This 5-foot-10, 222-pound do-it-all back likely slides down into the middle of Round 2 but he's our second-best running back in this man's draft. Montgomery rushed for 1,216 yards and 13 TDs for last year's Cyclones and pro scouts love his ability make yards after catches. Could be a nice fit with Houston with pick #54.

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